Five Double-Doubles Lead Volleyball Over UTEP
Dillard Now 22 Kills From Taking Program Record, NT Improves to 15-11
DENTON - Five Mean Green players recorded double-doubles to pace the North Texas volleyball team in a 3-1 home win over UTEP on Thursday afternoon (25-17, 25-20, 22-25, 27-25).
Carnae Dillard (31 kills, 22 digs), Holly Milam (10 kills, 17 digs), Alex Janak (24 assists, 10 digs), Karley York (17 assists, 10 digs) and Amy Henard (17 assists, 16 digs) paved the way as North Texas broke a three-match losing streak and picked up an important Conference USA win as the regular season winds down. The Mean Green entered Thursday’s contest tied with Rice for sixth place in the league.
North Texas (15-11, 7-4) tried out a new starting lineup to start the match. Junior Amy Henard played libero for most of the night, differing from her usual position as setter. That allowed for Janak and York to get involved as setters in an offense that kept the Miners on their heels.
“We needed to get more active on the defensive end,” head coach Andrew Palileo said of Henard’s position change. “Amy’s a good all-around player and she gave us what we were looking for there. Overall I thought we did a pretty good job of coming out and doing what we’re supposed to do.”
UTEP (7-19, 1-10) found itself down 2-0 at the intermission, but the team didn’t let that deficit get them down. The Miners won set three and even forced extra points in what was ultimately a deciding fourth frame. It was actually UTEP that held a 23-18 lead late in the frame, but four Miner errors and four Dillard kills proved to be too much as the visiting team tried to stay alive.
Even in a match with such dominant individual efforts, it was Dillard that stood out from the pack. For the second time in October, the senior recorded 31 kills on her home court, tying a career high and setting the venue’s record for kills in a four-set match.
Now 22 kills from taking the program’s all-time record, Dillard is definitely within reach of the kill total she needs in Friday’s match against Southern Miss.
• Dillard has posted at least 22 kills in 11 matches this season.
• Four venue records fell on Thursday: team kills in a four-set match (68), team digs (90), individual kills in a four-set match (Dillard, 31) and individual attacks (Dillard, 76)
• North Texas is now 6-4 at home this season. The Mean Green hasn’t lost more than four matches on its home court since the 2011-12 season.
• Freshman Jordyn Williams had a career-high five kills against the Miners. She also chipped in three blocks.
The Mean Green turns right around for a matchup against Southern Miss tomorrow, set for 7 p.m. from the North Texas Volleyball Center.